Earlier this month, on the Feast of the Epiphany, violence erupted in our country yet again. Like so many of you, I was stunned by the incitement to violence and the consequences unleashed by it.
Epiphany literally means “a sudden manifestation.” During this Epiphany season, I’ve been thinking about that a lot. We are called to be a manifestation of the light of Christ, to stretch outward and share God’s love with the world. In an age of disinformation and widespread falsehood, we must remember that the light of Christ reveals truth—even difficult, painful truths we might prefer to keep hidden.
Over the past weeks, we have been forced to confront many difficult, painful truths about our society’s instability, violence, and hatred. Yet perhaps the clarity of what has occurred can begin a process of healing, if we will only confess our sin and lay it at Jesus’ feet.
In Luther Seminary’s welcome statement we describe what a peculiar community we (and the entire people of God!) are called to be: a community “rooted in the unconditional promise of God’s love for all people.” We know we cannot do this alone, for “this kind of community is made possible only by God’s grace. … We recognize that we are divided from one another by the sin and suffering that exist in the world, in ourselves, in our neighbors, and in the structures of society. Yet, baptized into Christ Jesus, we are made into new creations and are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:17-18). We are called to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2).
This is a pivotal moment. We must hold one another in prayer as we bear witness to the light of Christ where hate has no place, bear witness to the light of Christ where truth matters, bear witness to the light of Christ where there is equity, reconciliation, and restoration.
This is an Epiphany call to each of us personally, as a seminary, and as the church.
May we respond faithfully.
Peace and grace,
Robin Steinke, President